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Archive for July, 2010

Attention Researchers – Time To Identify And THANK All Of The Research Families In This Great Industry

Friday, July 30th, 2010

I have been in the research industry for almost 30 years. During that time I have had the pleasure to work and associate with so many talented people. The funny thing is many of them are related! Not to me but to each other!

When I think about research families – I quickly come up with:

(Two quick things not to insult ANYONE I put the list in alphabetical order and APOLOGIZE to EVERYONE I left off the list)

  • Baldi: Joe, Janet
  • Iseman: Carl, Diane
  • Larson: Kim, Steve
  • Nichols: Mimi, Aaron
  • Hayes: Bernyce, Andrew, Matthew
  • Heakin: Pat, John, Patty, Kevin
  • O’Connor: Peggy, Tom
  • Schafer: Marianne, David
  • Schlesinger: Sarah, Debbie, Steve, Alan, Howard, AJ, Eric
  • Shugoll: Joan, Merrill, Mark
  • Weinstein: Ann, Adam

My kids are too young to know what they want to do but who knows maybe they will follow in my footsteps and end up in this great industry.

  • What research families have I left off the list?
  • What relatives have I left off the families that I mentioned?
  • Are you hoping and who knows even nudging a little bit that your children end up in the business?

I really need your help on this and really look forward to compiling a complete list. So THANK YOU in advance for your assistance.

Did You Hear The News Hotels Give Deals To Do Less Cleaning! Are You A Fan?

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

I guess the days of checking into a hotel, leaving the next morning for appointments and coming back to a clean room might be over? Or at least customers will have another option. Lots of hotels are trying to save money, energy and resources and looking at cutting housekeeping services as an option. Here is what a few hotels are doing:

Best Western asks guests to specify their choice of housekeeping: no service, replace towels/empty trash/quick vacuum, or full clean. Guests can check their choice and specify the cleaning hour on a card hung on the door knob. Since the program began late last year, about 40% of guests chose no or limited cleaning, says Ron Pohl of Best Western.

Some chains operated by Wyndham — Super 8, Howard Johnson, Travelodge, Days Inn and Ramada — are adopting Wyndham Hotels’ practice of leaving linens unchanged whenever possible. Starting next year, all Days Inn hotels will reduce bed linen and towel changes from daily to every third day in occupied rooms.

Omni Hotels began asking customers last year if they want limited housekeeping, in which bed and bath linens are changed on request or on the third day.

Some hotels are giving financial incentives for less cleaning.

Where is this all heading?

  • Don’t change the linen and save $10?
  • If we don’t empty your trash you save $5?
  • If you don’t take a shower and use the shampoo you save $9?

I realize hotel occupancy rates are lower than normal and they are fighting to be profitable but perhaps they need to look at ways to be greater customer service oriented which in turn will create brand loyal customers.

To me this just doesn’t feel right. What do you think?

How Does This Happen Is It Too Much Success Too Soon?

Monday, July 26th, 2010

I just got off the phone with a client and went to the web and one of the lead stories on my home page was:

Jennifer Capriati Recovering From Drug Overdose

A spokeswoman for Jennifer Capriati says the former top-ranked tennis player is recovering from an “accidental overdose” of prescribed medication. Lacey Wickline told The Associated Press on Monday that the 34-year-old Capriati is stable and a full recovery is expected. She declined to identify the medication.

The spokeswoman says Capriati was rushed to a South Florida hospital early Sunday morning. Wickline would not say how Capriati was found or who called emergency services. Capriati won three majors in a career that was sidetracked by personal troubles.

Yes this story is about Jennifer Capriati but we just as easy could take her name out and insert thousands of other athletes’ names.

  • How does that happen?
  • Did her parents push her too hard?
  • Is it too much success too soon?
  • Does she have too much money?
  • Did she peak too early in her life?

So I ask you:

  • How does this happen?

I truly look forward to hearing from you.

Attention Researchers Time For A Quick Fun Friday Quiz That Will Take Only A Minute!

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

Since I graduated college I have always been in the market research industry. During the last 25+years I have been using market research abbreviations that seem to be second hand. I thought it would be kind of cool and fun to have a short quiz on research acronyms.

The quiz will involve 20 common acronyms that you have heard over and over again.

Do you know what they stand for?

You will be on the honor system and all you need to do is say yes or no that you know what it is.

What I am asking is look at the acronym and take 5 or so seconds to say yes or no I know what it stands for.

I promise this will be fun and you will learn something for sure!

Good luck and who knows we may even give out a prize and yes the quiz will be timed so please don’t use Google to help.

Click here to play.

Thanks for playing we will post the correct answers on Friday August 6.

Are You Excited Or Not Excited About The Next 6 Months?

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

Time is FLYING by! I can’t believe that the first six months are in the record book and the year is half over. Most if not all of my industry contacts are happy with their results year to date and are way up over 2009. The question is what happens moving forward?

The real question is which side of the fence are you on?

  • Are you really excited about the next six months and think that your business will continue to flourish after a solid first half?


  • Are you really concerned and think we are headed for another downward turn and clients will be cutting back budgets the second half of the year?

I really look forward to you sharing your thoughts.

Don’t We Want Everyone On Our Team To Be Like Tony?

Monday, July 19th, 2010

Today is just like most Sundays. I get up early, play with the kids and then go to the store to get the Sunday newspaper and a few healthy items (for those who know me well know that was a joke – I rarely eat healthy) at the grocery story.

As I was talking on my cell phone to my buddy GS, I walked into Tom Thumb and had a few quick items to buy.  Normally I don’t like to chat on my cell phone in a store but since I hadn’t spoken to him in a few weeks I continued our discussion. I was still on the phone and of course in the express checkout line since I had maybe 7 items. The cashier’s name was Tony who was very nice and outgoing. I gave him my rewards card and he said to me “do you need any ice today?” I paused for a minute and asked GS if I could call him back. I then looked at Tony and said “I am just curious. I know Tom Thumb does a lot of training did they tell you to say that?” He paused and wasn’t sure if he might be in trouble and answered “no not at all. I assume since you have cases of water, soda and other drinks that is warm I thought you might be having a party or something and need some ice”.

I looked at Tony and said “I wish everyone on our team and every company was like you”. Thanks and have a great day!

I was very impressed for a number of reasons:

  • Tony was very proactive
  • He was trying (maybe he didn’t even realize it) to increase revenue but up selling
  • He was adding value and purpose to my trip
  • It was a memorable experience

What do you think of Tony?

  • Don’t you want everyone on your team to be like Tony?
  • Are there other stores that do the same thing and allow employees to be creative?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Attention Sports Fans Were You Surprised The Lebron James Events Turned Into A Circus?

Friday, July 16th, 2010

At times I can look at a situation and see where it is heading or at least have an idea of the reaction of people. I was so wrong on the Lebron James signing it isn’t funny. First of all I thought he was going to end up in Chicago – wrong! Second of all I thought announcing it on live TV was a good idea and would draw lots of attention to the NBA. Well I guess it did BUT I’m not sure all of the attention was positive. In fact in my opinion this turned into a circus! And ultimately hurt a lot of people.

Here are a few things I saw or read:

  • Fans in Cleveland burning Lebron James shirts
  • People threatening his family and friends
  • Dan Gilbert – Owner of the Cleveland Cavs basically attacking the character of James
  • A huge celebration in Miami welcoming the new superstars
  • Numerous releases by other owners basically taking shots at James
  • Mark Cuban sticking up for Dan Gilbert
  • Charles Barkley saying if you can’t beat em join em – that never would have happened when he played is a joke!
  • Otis Smith said he thought James was more of a competitor

Wow – the list doesn’t end.

The question is what do you think?

  • Did you think James was sincere?
  • Did you like the idea of the press release?
  • Specifically what did you think of Dan Gilbert’s remarks?
  • Do you think the Heat will win the NBA crown this year?
  • Do you think Lebron should have called Dan Gilbert before telling the world his decision?

I really look forward to hearing from you.

Did The Sports World Just Lose One Of Their Best Owners Of All Time?

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

Yesterday I read an online story that George Steinbrenner passed away. I paused for a few seconds before sending out an email to about 15 friends saying how sad the news was and how upset I was. Growing up in Boston at Fenway Park I loved going and seeing the Sox play the Yankees. Over the years I had seen so many games and met a number of professional athletes. In fact one day I met George and he introduced me to Lou Pinella which was a funny story. George couldn’t have been nicer and he actually gave me an autograph which I still have 37 years later.

To me George was one of the most passionate owners in sports. He demanded excellence and ONLY wanted to win. He was the ultimate competitor and truly loved the Yankees and probably was only truly happy when they won a World Series. He always seemed to put the Yankees in a position to be successful and win! Isn’t that what we want every owner of a company or sports team to do?

I wonder what George will be remembered for?

  • Great owner?
  • His love for horses?
  • The fact that he was so passionate that he fired Billy Martin – how many times?

And I wonder was he the greatest owner in professional sports?

I paused for a minute and thought about what 5 sports owners come to mind quickly. My list includes:

  • Al Davis
  • Charles Finley
  • Bill Veck
  • Mark Cuban

And of course George Steinbrenner.

Funny that none of the owners in Boston make my list!

  • What do you think of George?
  • Did you like his drive and passion?
  • Were you a fan of his?
  • Is he truly the best owner in sports history?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Attention Sports Fans: Have You Ever Wanted To Ask A Question To A Professional Baseball Player Who Won A World Series Ring?

Monday, July 12th, 2010

Moving to Dallas has had a number of surprises and one of the biggest surprises that I have encountered is that I would not only be friends with a Yankee fan but be very good friends with a former NY Yankee who actually won a World Series with them and wears his ring just to irritate me.

His name is Homer Bush. He played for NY Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays, San Diego Padres and Florida Marlins. He hit home runs stole bases and played some great defense.

Here are a few questions I asked Homer over the weekend:

What is the one thing people would be surprised to know about you? I am actually a better football player than baseball player. I still hold the Illinois State High School football records for most touchdowns scored in a single season (26) and most receiving yards in a single season (1431). In addition I was named to the All-Century team for Illinois High School Football.

What are the three words you would use to describe Joe Torre? Caring, Responsible, Calm

What was your most memorable experience in baseball? Hitting my first home run in Yankee stadium. The count was 2-0 and Posada and Scott Brosius were on base and I hit a 3 run jack off a knuckleballer from the Anaheim Angels.

Did you end up getting the ball? That’s a funny story. The kid who caught the ball came to the clubhouse and I offered him a Bernie Williams or Derek Jeter bat. He said no he wanted one of my bats! Yes I was surprised and actually gave him all three bats.

Who was your favorite ballplayer you played with? Tim Raines. He was amazing. We really hung out a lot and he taught me so much. How to always be prepared for the game, things to work on and treated everyone like they were his best friend.

You were fast and stole a lot of bases, who influenced you the most? Maury Wills was a coach of mine in Toronto and he taught me so much. He focused on being aggressive, confident and really refined my skills.

Best prank you ever played? I wasn’t a real prankster but I can remember one night I was in the minors and it was about 2:00am and I was with 3 of my team mates and we saw some flowers outside a Winn Dixie and decided to take them without paying. Well within 20 seconds there were 5 police cars around us. Thankfully we told them it was a prank and they were really nice and let us go. If not we may have all gotten suspended or kicked off the team and lost of all our bonus money.

Were there any pitchers that you really loved to hit against? Against there were two. James Baldwin for some reason I always hit him well and you will love this one Merrill, Pedro Martinez. I think I got 6 hits in my first 10 at bats against Pedro and liked hitting against him until one day he threw a ball at my head and luckily I got out of the way and he hit me in the hand. Needless to say I wasn’t comfortable anymore against Pedro.

What are you doing now? I have started a real estate investment company and also giving local kids batting lessons.

Homer is mentioned periodically in a book entitled "The Right Kind Of Heroes" written by Kevin Horrigan. The book details Coach Bob Shannon and the remarkable success of the East St. Louis Flyers football program in 1989 and 1990. Throughout the book, Bush is referenced as the team’s "go to" player, as well as a likeable person. In addition Homer was listed on the "All Nice Guy" team for all of Major League Baseball by Ken Davidoff in 2008.

Based on my personal experience he is a VERY nice guy and would be happy to answer any questions you have.

So now your turn

  • What do you want to ask Homer about baseball?
  • Do you want to know how fast he was?
  • What round he was drafted?
  • How much was his sign on bonus?
  • Did he enjoy playing baseball in Australia?
  • Who influenced his career?
  • How many siblings does he have?

We look forward to hearing from you.

PS – Homer is a special person who has a million dollar smile and heart! He loves to be around people and makes everyone feel that they are important from the second he meets them!

Sponsorship On The Mascot And Cheerleaders – I Say No!

Friday, July 9th, 2010

A few weeks ago I was in Boston and attended the Celtics/Lakers game and noticed lots of things. One of those things was a little surprising I noticed on the Celtics mascot (which I don’t like) was a Ford logo. Clearly Ford has sponsored the mascot and is trying to increase their brand awareness. We will come back to this point in a minute. The following week I attended another game but this time the game was in LA LA land. Low and behold the LA Lakers’ dancers we wearing shirts and promoting the upcoming movie Salt starring Angelina Jolie.

I understand sponsorship opportunities but sponsoring a Mascot and the cheerleaders I don’t like. Yes when you look around the arena there is literally a ton of companies pushing their products and services. I am ok with signage, a company sponsorship of the tip off or a timeout, I am ok with the building being named but I think the mascot and cheerleaders is taking it to another level and in my opinion isn’t a good idea and shouldn’t happen.

What do you think?

  • Yes or no sponsorship on the mascot and cheerleaders?
  • Do you think we have too much sponsorship going on in these venues?
  • What sponsorship do you like the most?
  • What sponsorship is a total waste of money?

I look forward to reading your comments.